Studies have shown that our childhood history plays a huge role in how we are as parents.
Parents who did not have their needs met as children may find it hard to meet the needs of their own children.
Research has also revealed that some parents who were mistreated as children may expose their child to abuse.
Environmental circumstances such as job loss, marital problems, or physical health concerns may contribute to mental health issues like depression or anxiety thus increasing family conflict or abuse in the home.
Many abusive parents are unconsciously repeating behaviors witnessed from their own family.
According to one German psychiatrist Alice Miller abusers have an “unconscious compulsion to repeat.”
“An intellectual understanding — that hitting or belittling a child is wrong, for example — may not be enough to prevent abuse, simply because the drive to repeat occurs on an unconscious level”, Miller says.
Other factors may play a role such as substance abuse problems or suffering from a personality disorder such as schizophrenia.
Despite these circumstances research has also shown that many children of abusers can overcome the odds and break the cycle in adulthood. Continue reading “The psychology of an abusive parent.”
“Emotional abuse is often used interchangeably with the term psychological abuse,” Carolyn Cole, LCPC, LMFT, NCC, tells Bustle. “Although the term ‘abuse’ often makes one think of physical abuse, emotional abuse is abusing someone in ways that can be seen as traumatic.” Cole says this may include gaslighting, bullying, and/or being condescending. “It is making someone feel like they are less-than, worthless, or not good enough. This can be incredibly painful when a parent does this to a child, as a child trusts that a parent is going to love them unconditionally.”
Cole adds that if you had an emotionally abusive parent, it could have an impact on your interpersonal and romantic relationships. “Attachment styles in relationships as an adult are often based on experiences someone has while growing up,” she says. “As a therapist, I often will explore the relationship a person had with their parents to understand where this way of relating to others or a romantic partner might stem from if I’m picking up on a particular attachment style.” Continue reading “Emotionally abusive parent”
Everyone is raised in different types of households, from single-parent ones to blended families. While you may think you had a healthy upbringing, you may actually have had an emotionally abusive parent but didn’t know it at the time. Perhaps there were some signs your mom, dad, and/or primary caregiver were not as unconditionally nice as they could have been, but you brushed off their behavior or made excuses for it — “They were just having a bad day.” Continue reading “Signs You Had An Emotionally Abusive Parent But Didn’t Know It”
This article examines the current state of research on parental alienation, which
reveals that alienation is far more common and debilitating for children and parents than was previously believed. In extreme cases, one can make the argument that parental alienation is a serious form of emotional child abuse. Careful scrutiny of key elements of parental alienation in the research literature consistently identifies two core elements of child abuse: parental alienation as a significant form of harm to children that is attributable to human action. As a form of individual child abuse, parental alienation calls for a child protection response. As a form of collective abuse, parental alienation warrants fundamental reform of the family law system in the
direction of shared parenting as the foundation of family law. There is an emerging scientific consensus on prevalence, effects, and professional recognition of parental alienation as a form of child abuse. In response, the authors discuss the need for research on effectiveness of parental alienation interventions, particularly in more extreme cases. This paper argues for more quantitative and qualitative research focused on four pillars of intervention at micro and macro levels, with specific recommendations for further study of child protection responses, reunification programs, and other therapeutic approaches. Continue reading “Parental Alienation as a Form of Emotional Child Abuse: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions for Research”
Induced parental alienation is a specific form of psychological child abuse, which is listed in DSM-5, the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), under diagnostic code V 995.51 “child psychological
abuse”. Untreated induced parental alienation can lead to long-term traumatic psychological and physical effects in the children concerned. This fact is still not given sufficient attention in family court cases. The article gives a condensed overview of parental alienation, summarising its definition, the symptoms and the various levels of severity. It also describes some major alienation techniques and possible psychosomatic and psychiatric effects of induced parental alienation. Finally,
attention is drawn to programmes of prevention and intervention now used and evaluated in some countries. The article concludes with two real-life examples from psychiatric practice, and a comprehensive list of international references. Continue reading “Parental Alienation (Syndrome)-A serious form of psychological child abuse”
Researchers are urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as family violence
According to Colorado State University social psychologist Jennifer Harman, about 22 million American parents have been the victims of behaviors that lead to something called parental alienation. Having researched the phenomenon for several years, Harman is urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as a form of both child abuse and intimate partner violence. Harman has authored a review article in Psychological Bulletin defining the behaviors associated with parental alienation and advocating for more research into its prevalence and outcomes. Continue reading “An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation”